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Alcoholism is a wide-ranging and complex disease that heavily plagues society Drinking is defined as the consumption of a liquid andor the act of drinking alcoholic beverages especially to excess Every year alcohol is responsible for 12 of all murders accidental deaths and suicides 13 of all drowning boating and aviation deaths 12 of all crimes and almost 12 of all fatal automobile accidents Overview 1 Alcohol is a potent nonprescription drug sold to anyone over the national legal drinking age 21 Unlike carbohydrates fats and proteins which can be manufactured by the body alcohol is a substance that is not made within the body It is a food because it supplies a concentrated number of calories but is not nourishing and does not supply a significant amount of needed nutrients vitamins or minerals These are empty calories that result in an unattractive beer belly Most foods are prepared for digestion by the stomach so that their nutrients can be a bsorbed by the large intestine However 95 of alcohol is absorbed directly through the stomach walls or the walls of the duodenum part of the small intestine nearest the stomachand small intestine Overview 2 Various factors effect the speed of alcohols absorption into the body - Watery drinks such as beer is absorbed more slowly - Foods especially fatty foods delay absorption - Carbonated beverages speed up the emptying of the stomach into the small intestine where alcohol is absorbed more quickly - The drinkers physical and emotional state fatigue stress and individual body chemistry affect absorption - Gender Women have less dehydrogenates a chemical that breaks down alcohol in the stomach so more alcohol is absorbed in the bloodstream Within moments of ingestion alcohol moves from the blood stream into every part of the body that contains water including major organs like the brain lungs kidneys and heart Alcohol stimulates and agitates depress es and sedates produces calmness and tranquility and begins a
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